The Diamond as Big as the Ritz Section 9 Summary
- Long after midnight, John jerks awake. He hears a noise outside his bedroom door.
- He rushes outside and sees at the end of the hallway Mr. Washington standing inside the elevator. There are three slaves in the hallway; John is certain that they were there to execute him.
- Before John can do or say anything, Mr. Washington orders the three men into the elevator with him. The men depart, leaving John alone in the hallway. He knows that "something portentous" must have occurred to have "postponed his own petty disaster," yet he has no idea what that something is (9.7). He decides, this is a good time to make his escape with Kismine – while the men of the house are distracted.
- John makes his way to Kismine's room. She tells him that at least a dozen planes flew overhead, probably sent by the Italian prisoner who escaped. They decide to go up the roof and watch the excitement. In the elevator, John kisses her.
- Outside a great battle rages; the airplanes fire down ammunition at the great Washington estate.
- John astutely decides that they'd better get while the getting is good.
- As the entire slave quarters are bombed, Kismine laments that "there goes fifty thousand dollars' worth of slaves […] at pre-war prices. So few Americans have any respect for property," she adds (9.24).
- John pulls her away from the spectacle. Kismine adds that the should wake Jasmine and take her with them. Meanwhile, she titters with the excitement that now they will be poor – free and poor, and won't it be fun?
- John tells her that it is impossible to be both free and poor together, and that he would rather be free. As such, he tells her to take a handful of diamonds from her jewel box before they depart.
- Ten minutes later, John, Kismine, and Jasmine make their way out of the palace and into a safe, hidden spot in the woods, from which they can safely watch the destruction.
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